Liverpool’s attacking midfield is already a crowded place, the area at which the club is strongest. If Joao Carlos Teixeira has his way, it’s only going to get more crowded, with the youngster determined to put his injury struggles behind him once and for all and leverage a strong showing on loan in the Championship last year into a regular Liverpool first team role.
"This is the biggest pre-season of my career," said the 22-year-old from Braga, who saw his career nearly ended by a back injury requiring major surgery in 2012 and then further hampered by a series of smaller issues as he worked to get it back on track. "I was meant to come on the tour last year as well but I got injured just before it and couldn't come, so this is the biggest one for me."
Now a little older than most players trying to make the breakthrough, Teixeira arrived from Portugal having been dubbed the next Deco, and in 2013-14 he was considered by many to be the brightest talent at Liverpool’s academy. Last season, he headed out to Brighton & Hove Albion on loan, scoring six goals and four assists in 35 appearances across all competitions.
This summer, though, could determine whether or not Teixeira still has a long-term future at Liverpool. At one point he seemed almost certain to make it, before the injuries set him back, and last year’s loan spell showed real promise. He will need to impress on tour, though, if he’s to end up in the club’s plans and not sent out on another loan with an eye to finding a permanent home.
"I got experience playing in the Championship," said Teixeira. "You learn a lot from all the different good players you are playing with and against. I want to stay at Liverpool and I'm going to do my best to try and get a place in the squad and get my chance here."
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